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On our own behalf – The Beer Monopoly on the Forbes List „Best Booze Books of 2017“

We are speechless. Surprised. Humbled. Incredibly grateful. Our book The Beer Monopoly appears on this year`s Forbes List "Best Booze Books". No, no, it`s not the Forbes Rich List. Fat chance of us ever getting on to that one.
The list was compiled by Tara Nurin and can be found here >>


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Posted May 2020


Mexico – Breweries under lockdown for two months already

Because of the covid-19 pandemic, the Mexican government has extended brewery closures from the original date 1 May to 1 June 2020. This applies to all “non-essential” industries. Brewing and beer distribution are not considered essential. The lockdown was introduced in early April. Analysts say that, initially, both Heineken and AB-InBev had only 30 days of inventory in the Mexican market, raising supply pressure. On average, Mexico’s breweries produce about 10 million hl beer per month. In almost no time, the country ran dry of beer. Read on


USA – Brewers and beverage makers fear shortage of cans

As consumers have hunkered down in their homes, reduced their shopping trips and stocked up on large packs of 12-ounce cans of trusted beer brands, demand for cans has shot through the roof. So much so, said Molson Coors’ website on 14 May 2020, that the entire beverage industry – brewers, soda and water makers – is facing an unprecedented shortage of 12-ounce (355 ml) recyclable aluminium cans. Read on


Australia – China slaps punitive tariff on imported barley

After China hit Australian barley exports with a tariff of up to 80 percent on 11 May 2020, the agriculture minister, David Littleproud, declared “there is no trade war”. He denied that the tariff was linked to Australia’s push for an independent inquiry into the origins and handling of covid-19 that had found widespread international support. China is only willing to back a World Health Organisation (WHO) review, once the pandemic is over. Read on


Belgium – Donating Leffe bread to food banks

AB-InBev, supermarket group Delhaize and La Lorraine Bakery Group have introduced a bread “à la Leffe”, made with the eponymous beer. For every five loafs of the bread sold in Delhaize’s stores, the three will donate an 800 gram family loaf to Belgian food banks. Read on


India – Diageo shtoom on United Spirits buy-out

The world’s number one drinks company, Diageo, is rumoured to be exploring options to delist its Indian arm, United Spirits, by buying out minority shareholders. As said Reuters on 20 May 2020, it is a good time to reach for the remaining shares of United Spirits, India’s major drinks company. Read on


Japan – A grim first quarter for Asahi

Japanese brewer Asahi reported a 45 percent decline in first quarter 2020 operating profit, as the covid-19 pandemic forced bars and restaurants in its major markets to shut, hurting its sales. While turnover declined only 4.7 percent year-on-year, Asahi had to book an operating profit of JPY 12.9 billion (USD 120 million) in the January-to-March quarter, which is way below the JPY 23.3 billion in the same period a year earlier. Read on

 


USA – AB-InBev wins corn syrup war against Molson Coors

If only Molson Coors had heeded the old adage: A lawsuit is a machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage. Because on 1 May 2020 a federal appeals court struck down a ruling by a lower court, which had been in its favour. Read on


Australia – Asahi gets regulatory approval to buy CUB

The Foreign Investment Review Board, on 7 May 2020, gave its final approval to Asahi’s AUD 16 billion (USD 10.5 billion) bid for Carlton & United (CUB). It was reported that the deal will award Asahi with a market share of about 48.5 percent of the Australian beer market, when CUB’s 45 percent share is combined with its existing footprint. This makes it the country’s major brewer, ahead of Kirin- owned Lion. Read on


United Kingdom – Pub chain Weatherspoon hopes to reopen in June

One of the UK’s largest pub chains, JD Wetherspoon, has floated the idea of reopening its pubs in late June, but many in the hospitality industry see that as fanciful. After the UK imposed a lockdown in March 2020, Wetherspoon’s rough and ready Chairman Tim Martin, 64, who had relentlessly campaigned for Brexit, caused widespread outrage. He suggested that his 43,000 staff could go and work for Tesco if he had to shut down. At the time, supermarkets were seeking to recruit more staff to deal with stockpiling demand. Read on



Canada – Cannabis beverages beset by delays

The hype over Cannabis beverages seems to have fizzled. Brewers AB-InBev, Molson Coors and Constellation Brands had big plans to sell THC- or CBD-infused beverages by the end of last year. But only two have hit shelves yet. As reports the website hempindustrydaily.com, in March Fluent Beverage, a partnership between AB-InBev and Canadian cannabis firm Tilray, began selling Everie, a non-alcoholic CBD-infused sparkling beverage. Read on

 

USA – Corona virus and the potential fallout on Corona beer

It is probably bad taste and also highly dangerous to even think aloud how the corona virus will impact the other Corona. But still, will people, in years to come, think of sun, sand and beaches when picking up a Corona, or of that deadly virus that has afflicted the globe? Read on

Belgium – Big Brewers say second quarter 2020 results will be worse

AB-InBev was the last of the European brewers to report first quarter results. On 7 May 2020 it reported that it sold 10.5 percent less beer than a year ago. But this decline worsened to 32 percent in April as bars and restaurants were closed and production was halted in South Africa, Peru and Mexico, AB-InBev said. Previously, Carlsberg had reported (30 April) that its beer sales dropped 8.1 percent in the quarter, while Heineken posted a decline of only 2.1 percent.

AB-InBev did say, however, there were early signs of recovery in China and South Korea as restaurants were reopening from mid-March. The company’s drinks volumes in China were down 46.5 percent in January-March, but only 17 percent lower in April. Read on

 

Europe – The hospitality sector: the new normal and innovation

When Europe’s governments put hospitality venues into lockdown in March, the effects were severe. Heineken’s beer sales alone dropped 15 percent over 2019. The second quarter will be worse, despite some countries cautiously reopening pubs and restaurants. Among European countries, the Austrian and Swiss governments seek to ramp up the economy by loosening restrictions. Under certain conditions, Swiss pubs may open on 11 May, Austria’s on 15 May 2020. In Belgium, the government will only discuss easing measures at the end of May, which indicates that the country’s 15,000 cafes and bars could return to some type of normal in June. In parts of Germany, pubs could reopen at the end of May.
Read on

 


Australia – Brewers CUB, Lion and Coopers help struggling pubs

Major brewers Lion and CUB each announced in April 2020 that they are donating resealable bottles to pubs across the country to assist pubs in selling draught beer in a takeaway format. Each company has started giving venues across the country growlers (aka 946 ml aluminium cans) and resealable caps free of charge, to help them increase their trading options. The website theshout.com.au reported that already 10,000 growlers and caps, and 500 dispensers have been delivered to hundreds of pubs across New South Wales. Similarly, CUB has committed to donating 20,000 resealable bottles to over 100 pubs in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Read on

 


Australia – Pubs and bars could be shut until September

Hospitality venues could be shut far longer than in the rest of the world. As social distancing remains a key measure in the battle against covid-19, some health experts have called for pubs and bars to be the last to reopen. Peter Collignon, a Professor of Microbiology at the Australian National University, Canberra, has argued that because of winter approaching down under and with it the risk of people catching respiratory viruses, including covid-19, it could be September at the earliest before venues reopen.
Read on

 

Switzerland – Craft brewer Unser Bier expects to weather covid-19

The country’s oldest craft brewer Unser Bier from Basle, calls itself lucky that 2019 was another profitable year and that it is debt-free. It is already noticing a massive drop in turnover as the on-premise, where it makes half of its revenues, has been shuttered since 16 March 2020. Unser Bier (“Our Beer” in English) was founded in 1997 and started operations in 1998. It has seven full-time staff and is owned by more than 10,000 shareholders, who don’t receive a pecuniary dividend, but are liberally beered and dined at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) instead. Read on

Switzerland - Boom in brewery openings continues

The number of brewery openings rose 11 percent in 2019, to reach 1,132 breweries, after only 32 breweries in 1990 and 81 in 2000. However, most of them – 811 – are really nano-breweries with an annual output of under 20 hl beer. A total of six breweries, Carlsberg and Heineken among them, sell more than 100,000 hl beer, according to data by the Swiss Customs Office. To be registered as a brewery in Switzerland you merely need to sell in excess of 4 hl beer each year. Read on


USA - Corona virus raises Boston Beer’s costs

With consumer demand for beer shifting to off-premise retailers, Boston Beer’s breweries had to change production from kegs to cans and bottles. Because most of its packaged beers are produced by third-party contract brewers, this led to increased costs. Boston Beer reported on 22 April 2020 that in the first quarter its turnover surged 31 percent, or USD 79 million, from the year-ago period to USD 330.6 million. This came on the back of a 32 percent increase in volume sales to 1.4 million barrels (1.6 million hl). Even excluding the shipments that were brought in by the acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewing last year, they rose over 27 percent year-on-year. Read on

 

 

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